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Dear Mom,

I know as I’m writing this now it will be your birthday soon. Something you’ve been constantly saying for me not to forget so I don’t have plans for that night. I would never.

Lately I’ve been doing this thing where I think or look back on certain times in my life. Some that were the best moments, and others I’d much rather never have to see or think of again.

But as I’ve been thinking back to those past memories I’ve been seeing them a different way.

I remember crying the day before my 26th birthday this year. I was listening to “Never Grow Up” by Taylor Swift. And although that whole song can reduce me to a puddle of tears, there was one particular line that stuck out to me this time.

“But don’t make her drop you off around the block, remember that she’s getting older too.” I know you’ve been telling me lately how when I start to get older is when I’ll begin to realize and appreciate all the stuff you did and continue to do for me in my life.

Mom, I see it now. I do. But I like to think a part of me always knew how much you’ve done for me. I saw from a very young age what you did. How you were able to do it all with such grace amazes me to this day.

You raised my brother and I all on our own and you showed me that you can do it all on your own. You came out of the rubble and built a castle out of all of it.

You were there for everything and still continue to do that now. I get to have you as both my mother and best friend and I don’t take that for granted for a second.

Now that I’m getting close to my 30’s I see things differently now. I know what I want and I go for it more and I have you to thank for that. You taught me to always go after what I want and never take “no” for an answer.

So thank you, mom, for everything.

You’re the reason I get out of bed in the morning.

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